A Brief History of Garages

carriage house for horses, converted for cars garagesOver the next few weeks, I’m going to discuss the evolution of garages: from sheds to what have been called ‘Garage Mahals‘, home extensions that contain everything from work stations to interlocking floor tiles to hydraulic lifts.


The word garage comes from the French garer – to shelter or protect.  It’s an apt name because that’s effectively what garages do.  They protect our cars from the elements.


During the early part of the 20th century, cars weren’t that common because they were expensive.  The first garages were just converted carriage houses that were remodeled to fit cars rather than horses.  Garages that were designed for cars didn’t become common until the early 1920s when car sales increase.  However, demand grew quickly.


By 1925, in fact, garages were on people’s must have lists. According to the June 1925 issue of Atlantic Monthly, ” the first question asked by the prospective buyer is about the garage.  The house without a garage is a slow seller.”


These garages were mostly stand-alone structures, built away from the main house. It wasn’t until the early 1950s that builders started to incorporate garages as part of the house design.  Before this, drivers had to brave the elements when getting from their garage to their home.


Carports became popular in the 60s as a low-cost alternative to a garage – often just roof and four posts, they were popular in warmer parts of North America.


The next major change happened in the 80s.  Garages were built to be conspicuous and large, to make room for families with multiple cars. Thankfully today they’re now being built to be less obtrusive.


The first patent for an automatic garage door opener was issued in 1937, but oddly enough, it didn’t really become popular until the late 1960s.


Fun fact: many businesses have been started in garages, including Hewlett Packard, Walt Disney, Apple Computers and Motown Records.

Keep your garage smelling clean

garage smell clean air freshDoes your garage smell like a garage?  Summertime is the ideal opportunity to clear the air and start fresh.

As I’ve mentioned before, if you have a slatwall system and polyaspartic flooring, cleaning the garage is a breeze. But regardless of what kinds of walls or flooring you have, there are a few things you need to do to minimize dirt and odours:

Keep rodents away:

  • Seal up any spaces where animals can enter.  Have a good look at the walls and the ceiling.  Mice can get in through the tiniest holes.
  • If you must keep garbage in your garage, make sure the bins are well sealed and you wash the containers regularly to get rid of any “come to dinner” smells.

Eliminate mould:

  • Look for white spots on the walls, which indicate dampness. Mildew and mould can form and cause odours and health problems.
  • Check the roof on a garage that is separate from the house. Mould can also form from water coming in through the shingles

Prevent chemicals odours

  • Sort through any hazardous products in the garage and dispose of anything you don’t need.
  • Make sure lids are secure on gas containers or smelly solvents.  It’s best to keep this sort of thing behind doors in a cabinet.

Another important thing to note is if you have a room above your garage, make sure your garage is properly drywalled and sealed.  Dangerous (and odourless) carbon monoxide gas can escape into your room.

Need help?  Give us a call.



Easy Spring Cleaning in your Organized Garage

polyaspartic flooring system

At this time of year, many of us think about giving our homes a spring clean but what about the garage?

For months, you’ve been driving salt and slush into this outdoor space, so the floor is the first thing to tackle in the garage.

Dirt stuck in cracks in the garage floor will never come out, that’s why it’s important to have a quality floor coating. In a previous post we talked about choosing flooring options. Nuvo Garage uses a polyaspartic flooring system that will resist cracks and abrasions for years to come and is 4x more durable than epoxy flooring.  And, this flooring is easy to maintain too.

Here’s how to maintain your polyaspartic flooring system:

  • Use a strong bristle broom to sweep away all loose debris and dust
  • Fill a bucket with hot water and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent, preferably one that contains a de-greaser, such as Palmolive
  • Pour the solution on to the garage floor and scrub with your broom. For more aggressive spots such as oil, use a little Varsol and scrub thoughly.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water and remove excess water with a sponge-head mop or shop vac.

With a little TLC, a floor from Nuvo Garage will look like new each spring.

If you need more help getting your garage ready for spring and summer, give us a call.


The key to better looking garage floors

Garage Flooring - stylish, easy to clean and installThe appearance of winter’s snow, slush and salt make unsightly garage floors a whole lot harder to ignore. Unfortunately, you can’t do much about the elements, but you can certainly improve the look of your garage floor with the right garage flooring solution.

The Polyguard Polyaspartic One Day Flooring System comes in a range of colours so you get to choose just how camouflaged winter’s debris becomes! You’ll be glad to know that this system also protects concrete floors from corrosive elements including the season’s biggest culprit – salt.

Modular Interlocking Floor Tiles are another great option that allow you to maintain a clean garage floor year-round without too much labour. Made from rugged and resilient PVC, this system is great for hiding existing unsightly stains and minor cracks in your concrete floor. When the tiles start to look a little grubby, simply hose off or power wash. You’ll have them squeaky clean in no time.

Both of these flooring options involve a pretty quick installation process that can be carried out any time of year. If you need a hand deciding which garage flooring solution is right for you, give us a call. We carry them both, and we’d be glad to answer any questions.

Build a Strong Foundation & Organize from the Ground Up in the Garage

So, we’ve looked at how if left untreated, the garage floor will develop cracks and corrosion which will encourage you to ignore the space and will demotivate you from maintaining an organized garage.

Plus an untreated, uncovered garage floor is just down right ugly. You’ve worked hard to coordinate the whole house – time to bring the garage into the picture and make it beautiful.

So, what can you do? Easy.

  1. Coat the floor with a polyaspartic garage floor coating.
    This better-than-epoxy low VOC option creates a strong seal that resists cracks and corrosion, stops dust from rising and adds a decorative touch to the space. (Low VOCs mean breathing easier in and around the house.)
  2. Lay floating PVC garage flooring tiles.
    Tell the world that you take good care of the biggest room in the, with a solution that many of our clients have chosen.

Once you get the floor cleared and covered, you’ll likely find yourself driven to organize and beautify the rest of the space. Stay tuned! We’ve got more tips coming up!

From the Ground Up – Thinking About Your Garage Floor

Keeping the biggest room in the house clean and tidy starts with the foundation – in this case the floor. And yet most people don’t think about how difficult a basic concrete floor makes cleaning, especially when cars or powertools drip oil, or someone spills paint.

You know what I mean…

  1. You have cracks in the concrete floor. (You wouldn’t step over a crack in the kitchen floor, would you?)
  2. Rain, winter salt and dirt are wearing down the surface. (You protect your dining room floor with a coat of varnish. Doesn’t the garage deserve the same?)
  3. Dust and grime seem to generate out of thin air. (Actually, they come from the concrete which releases dust as it ages.)

By leaving your concrete floor bare you make keeping the rest of the garage neat and tidy difficult.

So, what to do? Come back for the next post to find out what a options exist for decent garage flooring and what fixing the floor will do for the rest of the garage.

Meanwhile, check out our Nuvo Garage transformations to see what options exist for your floor.